Sharing Recipes in the Kitchen

Picture by Marie Cyr

Picture by Marie Cyr

This past week I have been experimenting with a few recipes, some in preparation for a family gathering others just to spend quality time with my grandmother. Some of the things we worked on were:

a.) Ployes – A french-canadian pancake for soups and stews.

b.) Teaspoon Dumplings

c.) My Mom’s honey PB kiss cookies (modified in an attempt to lower both calories and sugar, but still sweet enough to satisfy a sweet tooth)

d.) Red, White, and Blue Angel Cake

I enjoyed making memories with my grandmother this past week. Cooking is a great way to spend quality time with the people you love and to pass down family traditions. Today, let’s get your children cooking in the kitchen with recipes handed down in your own families.

To get you started here is one of the recipes I was working on with my mom and grandmother.

Red, White, and Blue Angel Cake

Makes 16 servings

Ingredients:

16 small cake shells or one angel food cake that can be cut into 16 pieces.

2 lbs. of Strawberries

2 pints of Blueberries

1/2 bunch of Bananas

8 oz. light whipped topping

Directions:

1.) Wash all surfaces before beginning.

2.) Using a colander rinse blueberries and strawberries all together. Place colander in the sink or on a towel  on the counter top where you will be working.

3.) Cut the top half of the strawberries then slice them.

4.) Peel and slice the bananas.

5.) Combine all fruit in two dishes.

6.) Lay out the cakes on a plate or cookie sheet. Top with fruit and whipped topping.

Bon Appetit!

This recipe can successfully be accomplished  with little to no supervision for kids ages 7 and over.

I hope you all had a good weekend and remember to say THANK YOU to those who serve.

7 steps to Food Safety (for Kids)

In order to keep cooking with kids fun it is necessary to cover a few basic safety rules to keep yourself and food safe.

1.) Always wash your hands.

Teach your kids the importance of washing hands before, during, and after cooking to stop the spread of bacteria that can lead to foodbourne illnesses. You will wash your hands when:

a.) You begin cooking

b.) You touch raw meat or eggs

c.) You switch tasks as such rolling meatballs to chopping vegetables

d.) Touch your face or hair

e.) After you finish

2.) If you have long hair pull it back!

3.) Wash all surfaces before and after cooking.

Surfaces that come into contact with food must be washed, sanitized, and dried with a cloth or wipe before and after working on them.

4.) Handle knives and other equipment properly.

Show your kids how to handle knives properly such as cutting away from yourself and carrying a knife across a kitchen. Even when they are using plastic utensils begin early. At each age teach your kids the appropriate tasks for their age group making sure they know what tasks they need adult supervision with.

5.) Use different towels and cutting boards.

When you cook never use the same cutting board for your meat that you use for prepping vegetables/fruits. Bacteria from meat can easily spread to raw foods and get people sick. The same goes for the towels you use to wipe down surfaces versus to dry dishes. You should never use the same towel for multiple kitchen tasks.

6.) Keep cold food cold and hot food hot

This seems only natural, but at some point in time all of us have kept food out for longer periods of time than is safe. To prevent this:

a.) Transfer large batches of food to smaller containers  and store in the refrigerator when cooling to allow the food to cool quickly.

b.) Never leave cold or hot food out at room temperature for more than 60 minutes.

c.) Thaw raw meat or vegetables in the microwave or refrigerator before use. Never thaw foods on the counter because it increases the time food is exposed to unsafe temperatures. It’s important to know that when thawing in the microwave food must be used right away. Foods thawed in the refrigerator must be used within 24 hours.

These rules become more important when traveling, going on picnics, or when packing school lunches. Using hot or cold water bottles or ice packs can ensure food is safe for a couple of hours until lunch period.

7.) Wash all fruits and vegetables.

When washing fruits and vegetables you can use a small brush or your hands under running water. Wash vegetables/fruits to lower the risk of food contamination with dirt, bacteria, and pesticides.

For more information on keeping food safe go to:

http://www.foodsafety.gov/index.html

http://www.reallifeathome.com/teaching-children-about-kitchen-and-food-safety/

Cooking Apps for Kids!

Picture by stuart martin courtesy of Freedigitalphotos.net

Picture by stuart martin courtesy of Freedigitalphotos.net

Let’s talk about apps.

Many of us use apps on our smartphones and other electronics so we are familiar with what they are. For those who may be new to the app world, an app is short for application that allows you to expand on what your phone or computer can already do.

Because children are becoming more “tech savvy”, apps are a great way to introduce good nutrition and healthy habits in your children through educational gaming. For the purposes of this blog I will introduce you to some cooking apps that can help engage children in the kitchen virtually.

To get your family started:

1.) Easy Eater II: Teaches food groups and food identification for kids ages 5-8. The object of the game is to feed your pet with foods you would eat to learn what foods are healthy and which are not. Can be a multiplayer game. This game is 0.99 cents at the app store and is rated 4 1/2 stars. IOS version 6 is needed and can be used for the IPad, IPhone, and IPod touch.

2.) Eat and Move O’Matic: Explains the connection between food and exercise by demonstrating how long it takes to burn the energy taken in. This game was developed for kids ages 9-11 years old, is rated 4 1/2 stars, and is free at the app store. It can be used for the IPad, IPhone, and IPod touch. Requires IOS 4.3.

3.) Kid’s E-cook: From i-gameMom website this app engages children in a virtual kitchen. The app is a step by step tutorial on cooking  simple recipes both entrees and deserts. Available on iPad or iPhone. Requires IOS 4.3. It costs 1.99. The app doesn’t have many recipes, but it is a good start. It was rated 4 1/2 stars.

4.) My Little Cook: Also a recipe based app it can be used to help children find their way around a kitchen. Allows kids to think about what they eat and why food is appealing. There are two versions a baking app and a snack app. Best for older children. It’s rated five stars, but is the most expensive at $3.71.

4.) Perfect Picnic: Allows kids to learn about food safety through building their own picnic park. The object of the game is to keep visitors happy. It was developed for the IPad or IPhone with IOS 6.1 or higher. Rated 4 1/2 stars. This app is for free.

This is just a sampling of apps you could try, plus there are more apps for parents as well as for kids. Remember to research the app before you try it to make sure it provides accurate information.

http://www.eatright.org/resource/food/nutrition/healthy-eating/6-great-apps-to-teach-kids-about-nutrition